By Allen Edmonds
The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control, along with officers from the Belton Police Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Kansas City Police Department and the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, executed simultaneous search warrants on two Belton massage businesses Tuesday, detaining two adult females.
Late Wednesday, the Cass County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed a misdemeanor prostitution charge against 44-year-old Shuangshuang Lin, an Overland Park resident who earlier this month returned to the U.S. from China, on a Chinese passport. Lin was taken into custody at Asian Massage, 829 E. North Ave.
Officers also raided Belton Massage, 8452 Clint Ave., where they detained one adult female.
Officers also seized electronic devices from both locations, which will be examined for evidence in the cases, according to Sgt. Andrew Bell, public information officer for the MSHP’s Troop A, headquartered in Lee’s Summit.
The search warrants were issued because authorities had probable cause to suspect prostitution was taking place at the businesses, Bell said. He said both individuals detained were initially referred to the Cass County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s victim services division.
“There was a language barrier, and while the investigation was going on, we just didn’t feel comfortable not turning them over to people that could make sure they were safe, and had adequate food, water and shelter.”
Bell said the potential always exists that workers in situations like this could be victims of human trafficking, “and we just want to make sure we’re being proactive.” He said authorities had not determined any link to human trafficking, but, he said, the investigation was only beginning.
According to the affidavit filed with the court late Wednesday by Cass County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Butler in connection with the Lin arrest, a Homeland Security agent and a Kansas City police detective observed a passenger car arrive and a male driver enter Asian Massage at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
At 11:40 a.m., a Missouri State Highway Patrol sergeant entered the business and was contacted by Lin as she exited a massage room, wiping her hands with a towel, according to the statement.
The sergeant identified himself as a police officer and advised Lin he had a search warrant for the premises. A second trooper then escorted Lin to the front of the building where she was read the search warrant by an interpreter.
Meanwhile, the Homeland Security agent and KCPD detective immediately went into the massage room and located a male, who was lying on his back on a massage table, according to the statement. “He was nude with a towel laying over his genitals,” and it was obvious to the officers the man was in an excited state, according to the officers.
The man, who was interviewed by a Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputy, said he had paid $45 to Lin for a 30-minute massage.
“The massage began with him lying on his stomach,” the statement said, but when he rolled over on his back, the man told officers Lin “touched his penis and began stroking it.” He told officers he did not ask Lin “to do that nor did they discuss it previously.”
He told the deputy that this was his second visit to Asian Massage, and on his first visit, approximately a year ago, no sexual contact occurred.
MSHP crime laboratory technicians, who assisted with searching the premises, found evidence of seminal fluid within the room the man was found in, along with other rooms within the premises.
During the investigation, three other male subjects were contacted, who were patrons, according to the statement.
One patron reported told officers that he had received a massage along with sexual service from Lin. “He said he did not ask (for the service). He said when he rolled over from his back she just ‘grabbed it’ and he did not stop her,” the statement said.
Another patron told officers the “massage lady” tried to “approach.”
“He later explained she ‘grabbed’ his penis. He said he stopped her.”
That patron told officers he paid $60 for the massage and provided a $40 tip when his massage was complete. His massage was also identified as Lin, the statement said.
Another patron told officers “they were ‘friendly’ in the parlor, indicating they were willing to perform sexual acts and stated ‘Just Robert Kraft kind of thing’ when asked how far the sexual activity goes. He had just left Asian Massage and Lin was identified as the only subject working at Asian Massage,” according to the statement.
Robert Kraft is the New England Patriots owner who was charged with patronizing prostitution services in a Jupiter, Fla., massage parlor last January.
Lin was transported to the Belton Police Department, but asked for an attorney before being interviewed. No questions were posed to her, the statement said.
Associate Circuit Judge Jeff Cox ordered Lin released on a signature bond, but not before surrendering her passport and all travel documents prior to release. No court date has been set.